With a little more than a month for planning and construction, a team of 30 volunteers set out to achieve the unthinkable – construction of the new building at the Akron campus.
Under the architectural direction of Jonathan Morschl of Four Points Architectural Services, Inc. and Dan Gilbert of DLZ, the team produced the necessary designs, procured the right materials, deployed a loyal and skilled group of building experts, and completed the project on time.
Did we mention they built the building using LEGO®?
“We wanted to do something special for the groundbreaking,” said Brian Hollingsworth, associate development officer for the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We wanted a piece that would show people a visual representation of what the building is going to look like.”
After some brainstorming within the Foundation, Gretchen Jones, the Director of Principal Giving, suggested a LEGO creation that would serve as a
centerpiece for the recent groundbreaking festivities.
Hollingsworth turned to social media to get ideas about how to replicate the building using LEGO and to recruit volunteers to build it.
After a simple Facebook post, the project took off, he said.
“We received just an amazing response,” Hollingsworth said. “People were liking it, commenting on it, and sharing it on their own pages. I received so many messages from people saying ‘I’m a Lego maniac’ or ‘I have a husband or a child who wants to do this.’”
Morschl and Gilbert helped plan the LEGO model so it would stand as a true representation of the new building when the real structure is complete.
They helped determine what types and quantities of Lego pieces would be necessary to build the model to scale with as much authentic detail as possible.
Assembly was challenging, but finding the materials was more difficult, said Hollingsworth. “It was hair-raising at times waiting for the mail to arrive to bring more essential LEGO bricks,” he said.
Ultimately, the model required several dozen different types of LEGO bricks, more than 12,000 pieces in all, and about 120 volunteer hours to construct. It stands 13 inches tall and 2 feet, 10 inches across, resting on a 4-foot-square platform.
The model may eventually find a home on display in the new building when it’s completed in 2015.
“It was a much bigger project than we thought at first,” said Hollingsworth. “It took a lot of volunteers to make it happen.”